Losing Grip – Hail John Holmes!
Long time, no write. Luckily, and as expected, the hobby has moved on regardless. While the drifting world hasn’t seen much exciting happening in the past six months, Axial has released the Ryft, Traxxas has teased a no prep drag Slash, Losi has released the LMT solid axle monster, Arrma has updated ther 6S line up, Team Corally is gaining ground and yesterday saw half a dozen pictures of what seems to be an awesome crawler from JD Models. Honestly, that last one blew my mind. Truly a premium offering, and while a 4-speed strictly isn’t necessary with a good brushless system, it is a freaking cool feature that I would love to build and tinker with.
Two years ago, I started writing this blog for three reasons. I enjoy writing, I wanted to promote the hobby, and I hoped to get some free stuff from various manufacturers. Sadly, I soon realised that the sponsoring bit was not going to happen, but in the end I didn’t really mind. RC is a good hobby, so I was happy spreading the word and getting paid a little for it. Covid came, which initially gave me all the more reason to write, but eventually forced me to stop. See, I work in intensive care, so it came to a point, sometime in November last year, where I simply couldn’t find the time to continue the column. Not even to say a proper goodbye. I just dissapeared from the hallowed pages of the Biggest Squid around.
But here I am again! Goodbye and hello! And maybe goodbye again, since a third wave of covid is approaching my corner of Sweden. Right now however, life is good and the last few days has seen my rigs getting some wheel time. Not my drifters though; since I am an outside drifter, their season is still a couple of weeks off. For a starter, the street outside needs to be swept clean of all the gravel that was spread all over it when it was covered with ice and snow.
So, rather than drifting, I have to my first love: crawling and rock bouncing. Also, I have started to plan another build. With too little time, and funds accumulating very slowly, it will be many months before it is finished, but I hope to build an Axial SCX10 iii this year.
Now then, why would someone with limited funds and time, build a kit, rather than buying an RTR? The second alternative is cheaper, and a big time saver. Easy: the love is in the labour. That’s also why I rather save up for a couple of more months in order to buy good, rather than decent, electronics. This is where Holmes Hobbies enters the column.
My beloved Axial Bomber has a brushless Holmes Hobbies Puller Pro 3500kV, that I am very happy with. My Yeti has a Tekin Pro 4HD that I am equally happy with. Actually, I can’t tell the difference, but then I am not a nitpicky, expert driver either. But what I can tell, is that Mr John Holmes is a frequent visitor of, and contributor to, RC forums (at least of rccrawler), and has a great youtube channel, and that I want to endorse. To some extent, that can be said of Castle Creations too, and that’s a small reason for me to chose their Mamba X ESC for my rigs. The big reason, of course, is that it is a great ESC and that I am a big fan of their auxiliary link and its crawler mode – awesome when coupled with a 2-speed gearbox. Even my kids love it.
John Holmes effort to educate the RC community cannot be denied. Nor can his willingness to take customer complaints seriously and openly, and that I really appreciate. A couple of years ago there were some complaints about his HH SHV500 servo, he addressed the issues in the forums, looked into it, fixed broken servos or sent out replacement parts (some issue with one of the pins, I think), and eventually released a revised and better version. This particular servo is now in its third iteration, and could I chose freely I would get one for my SCX. And one for the build after that, and one for the build after that. However, I will have settle for very good rather than excellent and have my eyes on the Savox SW-2210SG. The motor however, will be a HH Puller Pro 2700 kV stubby, coupled with a Mamba Micro X, both ordered today. I did some careful weight calculations, and the Micro should be up to the job. Also, this combo will save some weight up top, compared to a regular Mamba X and a regular Puller Pro.
Anyway, dusting off my rigs and planning a new build, reminded me of Mr Holmes and his contributions both to my rigs and to the hobby in general. SSD racing is another brand that features heavily in my builds (gotta love them diamond axles, knuckles, and their 2-speed for the Bomber and Yeti), and on forums – kudos to them.
As I was saying, RC is a great hobby, I am proud having promoted it a little, but to the best of my ability with my column (I hope you guys have enjoyed it), and I want to give credit to one of the guys who contribute a lot: John Holmes of Holmes Hobbies. Thanks!
Want to read another column? Click here. And feel free to drop me a mail at martin at bigsquidrc dot com